It’s that time of the year again. The cold is just beginning to settle in, half our population doesn’t want to get out of bed and we are back to making year-ender lists for your to scroll through. Seriously though, this is the list of the highest rated movies of 2021, according to IMDb. So, use this winter break properly and watch them all.
1. Jai Bhim
This Indian Tamil-language legal drama film directed by T. J. Gnanavel and produced by Jyothika stars Suriya and revolves around a true incident in 1993, which involves a case fought by Justice K. Chandru. The film portrays the grim reality of the deeply rooted caste system in Indian society.
Toma is a biopic about the great Toma Zdravkovic, the man who is remembered not only for his songs and but also for the unique way he sang them. The film unfolds in two stories running parallel, the first being the last few months of his life, from his collapse after a concert in Belgrade until his death at the time of the fall of Yugoslavia in 1991. The second story covers the period of over 30 years of Zdaravkovic’s rise from the town of Leskovac to national fame.
3. Jangnong (Indian Pink)
Directed by Kai Chen and starring Kim Hyun-joong, the film tells the story of a man whose perfect life unravels when the love of his life attempts to leaves him. It’s as if his partner was the only one keeping him human. As the film unfolds, so does the protagonist’s demonic nature.
Very rarely do we see Hindi cinema being bold and brave enough to take on topics that would challenge the viewers without indulging in sensationalism. Directed by Nidhi Patel and Pooja Patel, it tells the story of a migrant worker who gets lost in an internal area during the sudden COVID lockdown in 2020.
5. Trees of Peace
The story takes place in April of 1994 and revolves around four women from different backgrounds and beliefs as they fight for survival against all odds as it unites the women in an unbreakable sisterhood.
6. Future Shock
Written and directed by José Luis Mora, this Spanish film tells the story of an android accused of a murder that he did not commit. While the film isn’t high on budget, the writing and acting take the lead to make the movie tick. This horror-sci-fi thriller should be on your bucket list of films to watch.
7. Rivers of Croatia
The rivers of Croatia are unique within Europe, as their ecosystems provide stability to the processes of nature. This ecosystem is, however, threatened by human interaction to fuel the industrial age of today. Croatia has a plethora of rivers, mountains, forests and waterfalls and you will witness it in all its glory as the movie progresses. It won’t make you an environmentalist but you will surely think about it.
8. Cadet 1947
Directed by Rahabi Mandra and Winaldo Artaraya Swastia, Kadet 1947 is a story about a group of inexperienced cadets who carried out Indonesia’s first air attack on the Dutch army in 1947, when the Dutch tried to attack Indonesia to reestablish its colonies in the aftermath of World War II.
9. Querido Fidel
Dear Fidel, as it would read when translated to English, is a satirical comedy that talks about politics and the family in ways that is unusual for cinema, especially the Italian film industry. Dear Fidel was presented to Bifest 2021 in the competitive section ItalyFilmFest, where he got the award for best director and best actor.
10. No Land’s Man
Starring our own Nawazuddin Siddiqui, this film chronicles a strange journey of an Indian man whose journey takes a very scenic route when he meets an Australian girl in the US. Nawaz is brilliant in the role and you should definitely check this film out.
11. Zoraki Misafir
When the ratings of his show drop, Harun buys a new program from abroad, but he finds that there is a need for an idiot for this series. Have some patience, add some subtitles and this Turkish film will make you roll with laughter.
12. Kalira Atita
This film talks about the yearly cyclones in Odisha and the lives they destroy in their wake. The plot revolves around a man who returns to his village hoping to reunite with his family, only to find it under water due to a cyclone.
13. Making The Day
A character actor, way past his prime attempts to make a movie honouring his deceased wife, a series of events leads him to an actress who just might be his perfect leading lady. It is a nice, happy, sometimes a little sad movie, you can always watch with your family.
14. Licorice Pizza
Licorice Pizza is an American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It’s based on the teenage actor days of Tom Hanks’ producer Gary Goetzman. The story revolves around an actor’s relationship with a young woman as they try and launch a waterbed business together in the San Fernando Valley, and just generally chill out.
15. Gintama: The Final
The final movie of the Gintama franchise is directed by Chizuru Miyawaki is an adaptation of the final chapters of the manga series of the same name written by Hideaki Sorachi. It is literally the best farewell to the series that was possible. I won’t spoil the plot for you, primarily because you will also need to watch the rest of the series to get there.
16. Death and Bowling
Actor X’s lesbian bowling league, Lavender League Bowling Club, is the only thing keeping their head straight as they struggle with their day to day life. But X then has to figure out what it means to be seen after the death of the captain of his bowling league.
17. Come from Away
In the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attack in America, 7,000 passengers are stranded in a small town in Newfoundland, where they were housed and welcomed. The whole film is shot on a live stage in New York City, which makes it so much more impressive. It’s a really beautiful movie, that tells the story of humanity even in the face of unrelenting horrors.
Héliopolis is a 2020 Algerian drama film directed by Djafar Gacem. It was an Algerian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Oscars but had to be withdrawn as the film’s national premiere was cancelled due to COVID-19.
This film is based on a real event that shows the world a glimpse of the terrible costs of colonialism. It focuses on a small family in the village and through their eyes, we witness the events of May 8, 1945, the day the end of World War II was announced. This led to protests against the French, who suppressed the demonstrations with violence. The event went down in history as the Sétif and Guelma massacre.
Catalina lives with her son Emanuel and her mother Nilda, who’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. It also happens to be Nilda’s birthday and the little family is expecting some relatives. The film perfectly portrays the mixed feelings Catalina has for Nilda, her relatives, the heat during the day and the general state of things in her life.
20. Sarpatta Parambarai
This Tamil movie, set in the 1970s is our answer to Rocky. It’s our boxing movie and it’s brilliant. Kabilan, a young labourer, must navigate through local politics, his father’s legacy, his family, the love of his life as he tries to get honour back to his legendary clan of boxers.
Jesus Christ, there are quite a few Indian movies in here, aren’t there? Who would have thought?